Veterans want cenotaph moved

War veterans are pushing the City of Red Deer to move the cenotaph to City Hall Park before downtown redesigns push forward, keeping it in its present place.

Veteran Doug McNeely would like safety and access to the cenotaph improved by moving it from the centre of Ross Street.

War veterans are pushing the City of Red Deer to move the cenotaph to City Hall Park before downtown redesigns push forward, keeping it in its present place.

Doug McNeely, secretary-treasurer for the Korean Veterans Association, said the Red Deer group of 34 members has appealed to Mayor Morris Flewwelling to consider relocating the cenotaph from the centre of Ross Street where it was erected in 1922. They sent two letters, explaining the merits of having the soldier figure in the bigger park.

He said people would find it easier and safer to visit the cenotaph, including reading the plaques in memory of those who served in the First and Second World Wars, and the Korean War.

“We don’t want the relocation so we can line up at the cenotaph,” said McNeely, 78.

“Us guys are too old to stand out there in the cold. . .we want a place where people can pay their respects properly.”

The city is exploring the idea of making a Cenotaph Plaza as part of downtown revitalization plans. Two lanes of traffic on the north side of the cenotaph are currently shut down while a highrise is being built.

McNeely said traffic abuts the cenotaph on the south side.

Flewwelling has corresponded back to the veterans group, most recently in March. In one letter, he explains the cenotaph was installed there to welcome or to bid farewell to those soldiers leaving on the train. The former station is found on 51st Avenue west of the cenotaph.

“That’s not the reason for the cenotaph — it’s to honour the people who gave their lives for this country,” McNeely said.

He said he doesn’t know of any other Canadian community that has a cenotaph in the middle of a road.

Legion president Tim McCoy said the cenotaph could still face west if placed in City Hall Park.

“We could have parades to the cenotaph. To have a parade now to the cenotaph, we have to shut down all the roads down and the (city) would charge us dearly.”

Flewwelling was unavailable for comment on Tuesday.

Deputy Mayor Larry Pimm said the city’s desire is to build a pocket park just north of the cenotaph, once the Executive Place building is constructed.

“What we have found is the reduced flow of traffic really hasn’t been a great inconvenience,” Pimm said.

“It’s tended to slow down the traffic a little bit. A pocket park would be a very attractive feature.”

Pimm said he’s not aware of any city plans to gather formal input from the veterans.

“If they’re anxious to have formal debate on it, that can happen,” he said. “But there hasn’t been a huge hue and cry in the public at large to move the cenotaph.”

City archivist Michael Dawe said a citywide plebiscite was held in 1953, with voters electing to keep it where it was.

And there may be troubles to move it, Dawe said.

Charlie MacLean, whose father installed the cenotaph, told the city several years ago that it probably would sustain damage if moved.

A special memorial committee raised money to have the cenotaph erected and later entrusted the cenotaph into the care of the city. The committee later disbanded.

Just Posted

PHOTO: Rainbow Block Party at Red Deer’s West Park

The Trans and Non-Binary Aid Society hosted a Rainbow Block Party at… Continue reading

Blood donations needed in Central Alberta: Canadian Blood Services

357 donors are needed before Aug. 26 at the Red Deer clinic

Warkentin seeks UCP nomination

Another nominee for Red Deer North

WATCH: Annual Family Picnic at Central Spray and Play

Blue Grass Sod Farms Ltd. held the Annual Family Picnic at the… Continue reading

Photos: Smoky conditions in Red Deer

Red Deer and area is experiencing high risk air quality.See related: Red… Continue reading

Committee to decide how millions in Humboldt Broncos donations are split

SASKATOON — Lawyers for the families of some of those who died… Continue reading

Boy, 11, dies after being struck by payloader on southern Alberta ranch

BOW ISLAND, Alta. — A boy has died after an accident on… Continue reading

Liberals look at creating federal holiday to mark legacy of residential schools

OTTAWA — The federal Liberal government wants to establish a holiday to… Continue reading

Thousands of police officers expected at regimental funeral in Fredericton

FREDERICTON — Thousands of police officers and first responders from across the… Continue reading

B.C. declares state of emergency over wildfires

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government has declared a provincial state of… Continue reading

As service refusals make headlines, experts say businesses usually in the wrong

Two Canadian businesses that recently made headlines for refusing customers have learned… Continue reading

Irregular asylum claims increased in July after two months of decline

OTTAWA — The number of irregular border crossers in Canada went up… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month